Weird Universe

April 17, 2009

Potato Your Face

A hygiene tip found in the Chicago Tribune, March 2, 1902:

If you wish to wash your face and haven't any soap at hand, pare a potato and use it as soap. This will cleanse the skin when the emergency arises.

Okay, but how do you then get the potato slime off your face?
Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Apr 17, 2009 | Comments (17)
Category: Hygiene

Lloyd Brown’s Globe Theater

Apparently this theater was never constructed, but it's an interesting idea. Though anyone with a fear of heights would want to avoid the ceiling seats. From the Chicago Tribune, May 26, 1901:

A Globe Theater Which is Really a Globe
Many theaters have been called "The Globe," which name, as describing their shape, is a misnomer, but a Kansas City man has planned the real thing in a globe theater, for the interior is spherical. The great advantage which this ingenious man, Lloyd Brown, asserts for this theater is not only that the stage will be visible from all seats, but what is said on the stage may be heard equally well in all parts of the house. The acoustic properties of a theater are as important as the stage properties and are harder to obtain. Frequently persons sitting back under gallery or balcony are unable to hear the players.

The seats in this "globe" theater will begin at the stage, which will occupy the usual place, and rise gradually, going backward on the interior of the sphere until the highest point is reached. There will be only two rows of seats all around, and the upper hanging ones will be suspended on steel beams.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Apr 17, 2009 | Comments (10)
Category: Architecture


Voted the worst UK pop song ever!

How to Tell the Birds from the Flowers

As children, my sibs and I were utterly fascinated by this weird little book. We studied the drawing for hours. Now you can too, thanks to the magic of the internet!

Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Apr 17, 2009 | Comments (2)
Category: Animals, Nature, Books, 1900's

[News] Chuck’s Links for Friday, April 17, 2009

[Ed.: and maybe it's just me, but these all sound like Recurring Themes]

Yet another variety of DUI: joyriding a steamroller while drunk (Bonus: The cop said he could tell that the 'roller was "weaving" all over the road). KTBC-TV (Austin, Tex.)

Shot in the chest, but saved when the bullet couldn't penetrate the . . wad of money she had stuffed in her bra. Agence France-Presse via Yahoo

A convicted child molester had his stuff bitten off . . by his own self (only the tip, though; he's not that big). New York Daily News

A Louisiana man, 54, stabbed his brother, 63, in an argument over a can of pork 'n' beans. Associated Press via Yahoo

Apparently, no flashlights in Fort Dodge, Iowa: It was dark under the sofa so he used a cigarette lighter to look around. Des Moines Register

Carmen Canas, 28, burned the hell out of herself when she tried to heat the cosmetic hot wax in a microwave and didn't handle the container very well taking it out, which of course is the cosmetics company's fault, said her lawyer. WPIX-TV (New York City)

A Kenyan man prevailed in a three-hour,.life-or-death struggle with a 13-ft-long python that had actually dragged him up a tree and was preparing to swallow him (but the man used his shirt to block the snake's mouth) (Yikes). BBC News

[Jury Duty] Lawrence Hembd [yeah, Hembd], 40, Port Orchard, Wash., might be testimony for the proposition that meth muddles one's sense of fashion. Kitsap Sun (Kitsap, Wash.)

[Jury Duty Bonus] Let's hope the next 21 yrs aren't as rough on the face of Joshua Griffin, 21, Galveston, Tex., as the first 21 have apparently been for the alleged purse-snatcher. KRIV-TV (Houston)

Today's Newsrangers: Max Simms, Cindy Hildebrand, Stephen Taylor, Kathryn Wood, Bruce Alter
Posted By: Chuck | Date: Fri Apr 17, 2009 | Comments (7)

April 16, 2009

Training for Failure

I wonder what would have happened had Dr. Sherman's plan been put into action? It would certainly relieve stress -- and provide a much more realistic view of the world -- if we were all taught from day one to accept our mediocrity. Reported in the Newark Advocate, Dec. 1, 1936:

Training for Failure
It seems that parents are wrong in counseling their youngsters to study hard and aim for the presidency.
Anyway, Dr. Mandel Sherman, mental hygiene specialist at the University of Chicago, advises that young people be trained to become failures, in the ordinary sense of the word.
"Our educational system is suffering from an overdose of success stories," he contends. "One person in 10 is neurotic, one in 22 insane today because we train only for success. And only a few can be successful from a material standpoint."
Youth perhaps should be taught that a successful life need not include fame and riches. But history, studded with instances of handicapped youngsters who fought their way to success, indicates that it would be difficult to get the younger generation to bow its head to the inevitability of failure.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Apr 16, 2009 | Comments (19)
Category: School, Self-help Schemes, Psychology


Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Apr 16, 2009 | Comments (4)
Category: Insects, Music, Cartoons, North America

Florida Skunk Ape

Who knew that Chuck's state boasted its own Bigfoot, in the form of the Florida Skunk Ape?

The Florida Skunk Ape Documentary @ Yahoo! Video
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Apr 16, 2009 | Comments (7)
Category: Cryptozoology, Regionalism

[News] Chuck’s Links for Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bizarro World: (1) Two yrs ago, a little girl saved the life of her 84-yr-old landlady, and now the woman's relatives are evicting the girl's family. (2) If you work for the state of Massachusetts and also deploy with the Massachusetts Nat'l Guard, you get both salaries; if your Guard unit deploys to Iraq, though, you get only the higher of the two salaries. (Seriously.) (3) East St. Louis, Ill., cop Kristopher Weston, 28, apprehended a high-profile murder suspect so impressively that he was called before the City Council for praise . . and five minutes later, the Council voted a list of police layoffs that included Kristopher Weston. Chicago Sun-Times /// Boston Globe /// St. Louis Post-Dispatch

You'd think a Border Patrol agent trying to smuggle in illegal tortoises would know the law better than to disguise the shipment as "scorpions" (since they also are usually illegal). Reuters via MSNBC

An Ontario man with an auto-immune disease that has impaired his vision, swollen up his hands, and left him often in morphine-level pain, has been spotted by an insurance investigator during a couple of his better days, thus encouraging his employer to order him back to work . . in his job as a bus driver.

A Hong Kong maid was accused of trying to poison her boss, but it was all a misunderstanding because she was only adding menstrual blood to the boss's soup, and everybody knows menstrual blood can only help things. Agence France-Presse via Yahoo

Jennifer Madrigal filed a complaint against Guadalupe Andrade in Ogden, Utah, for putting a curse on her (imminent auto accident!), but Madrigal's OK because she hired a witch doctor who saved her with the ol' magic egg ritual. KSL-TV (Salt Lake City)

Awesome multitasking: driving (80 mph) while having sex (real sex, too, not just oral). Agence France-Presse via Yahoo

Update: Our old friend Steve Rocco, once the strangest elected official in California, finally went to trial this week for that petty theft (stealing ketchup from a Chapman University dining hall). Associated Press via Yahoo

[Jury Duty] OK, here are John Kincaid (top) and Christopher Fitzgerald, who stand accused of holding up a dirty-video store in Kilgore, Tex., and the question for you is: Assuming they're guilty, which of the two came up with the idea?

Today's Newsrangers: Dean Larson, Kathryn Wood, Emory Kimbrough

Posted By: Chuck | Date: Thu Apr 16, 2009 | Comments (13)

Transparent Face Mask

From Popular Science, March 1940:

Slipped over the head, a bag of cellulose tissue designed for use in skiing and other outdoor sports offers protection for the face without interfering with vision. The transparent mask can also be used as a shower cap, an apron, a tray cover, and a turban, the makers say.

Maybe it didn't interfere with vision, but the interfering with breathing probably posed a problem.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Apr 16, 2009 | Comments (7)
Category: Inventions, Products, 1940's
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.